Karen Astwood

Primary fields

Region Wellington
About Me

I gained my Master of Museum and Heritage Studies from Victoria University of Wellington in 2008, joining PHANZA that same year.

I then primarily worked as a contract historian for Heritage New Zealand, and in 2010 I started part-time work as the IPENZ Heritage Advisor (now Engineering New Zealand). Other projects I have been involved with include developing some of the stories for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage's Roadside Stories ( In mid-2016 I started full-time work as a Heritage Advisor for Heritage New Zealand. I'm currently Heritage New Zealand's Central Region Area Manager and a Heritage Assessment Advisor.

I joined the PHANZA Committee in 2011 and was Secretary between 2014 and 2017.

Specialities Late 19th New Zealand museum collections, built heritage, engineering heritage
Publications and Research

Conference papers:

'Learning from Experience: Three Case Studies of New Zealand Natural Disasters and Engineers’ Responses, 1878–1953', at the 4th Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference, 24-25 November 2014.

'“The engineer with imagination”: The relationship between engineers and architecture in 1950s New Zealand,' "Everything tastes better with cream": New Zealand architecture in the 1950s, Victoria University of Wellington conference, 4 December 2015.

'Beyond engineering achievement: Heritage New Zealand's recognition of why bridges are important', Bridge: the heritage of connecting places and cultures, Ironbridge, England, 6-10 July 2017.

Other details

PHANZA Joining Date 2008